Dieting always seems like a drastic lifestyle change that demands you constantly eat clean and never cheat on your wholesome meals. You hear people talking about how they've completely cut carbs and sugar, as well as the miraculous results that has done for their physique when paired with hard work in the gym.
However, having a cheat meal isn't as bad as you think. It could, in fact, benefit your body. Here are the top three reasons why you should let yourself have that cheat meal, and not drown in guilt over it.
IT KEEPS YOU PSYCHOLOGICALLY HAPPY
Going on a diet is tough stuff, especially if you're completely new to it. Having a cheat meal, and indulging on foods you have cut out of your diet is a great way to maintain your psychological well-being through the dieting process, or the drastic lifestyle change. It gives you something to look forward to as well, like a reward system of sorts after a trying week. This brings forth the added motivation to continue with your diet, as it creates a healthy cycle of motivation and an added bonus to your efforts. This makes you more disciplined, instead of holding on too tight at the reins and completely cutting yourself off from what you ought to enjoy.
IT IGNITES YOUR METABOLISM
The key to losing weight and gaining lean muscle is to burn more calories than you consume. That is effective for the most part, but doing the reverse, i.e. consuming more than you burn on your cheat and rest days can actually help to ignite your metabolism, as it shocks your body. Also, it amps up your glycogen stores so that you have more energy for your next workout.
IT IMPROVES YOUR DISCIPLINE
Entering into a healthy lifestyle requires heaps of discipline, from working out, to what you eat, and what you supplement with. Just because a cheat meal means you get to let go, doesn't mean it shirks all discipline. Ideally, one should follow the 90/10 rule when it comes to dieting. This means, 90% of your total meals per week should stick to your regular dietary regime, whether it's low-carb, high-protein and so on. However, the other 10% of your total meals can be meals that reverse your diet, such as cheat meals. These ensure maximum efficacy for your metabolic rates to spike, and provide you with more energy to store. Aside from following the rule, it's important to note that a cheat meal does not equate to a cheat day, where you let go of your diet entirely. Infusing discipline into your "off-days" is one way to help keep you on track all the time, no matter what you're eating.
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- June 09, 2017
- Beatrice Bowers